This is a golden generation of players, I don't think we'll see the likes of them for many a long day. But I get the feeling we're blowing this now. I can forgive 2016, those 2 games v Donegal were epic and drained the tank for the Longford game. But mistakes were still made that day. But ever since then we've flattered to deceive. We've left behind a litany of wasted opportunities. I can't believe that a decade that saw us win 2 Ulster titles is ending with a nagging feeling that we've underachieved.
Replying To FootblockREF: "This is a golden generation of players, I don't think we'll see the likes of them for many a long day. But I get the feeling we're blowing this now. I can forgive 2016, those 2 games v Donegal were epic and drained the tank for the Longford game. But mistakes were still made that day. But ever since then we've flattered to deceive. We've left behind a litany of wasted opportunities. I can't believe that a decade that saw us win 2 Ulster titles is ending with a nagging feeling that we've underachieved."
Exactly .... except it's not just a nagging feeling
Replying to nobody in particular. Leaving Breffini on Saturday I wondered if Gooch Cooper had declared for Monaghan would he have kept his place on the panel? No.
He would not have run from one end of the pitch to the other attacking and defending and tackling men twice his size. (As Conor Mc Manus is forced to do).
Neither would he have shone in a Monaghan attacking system, building from the back and then driving into the 15 -man- defence organized by the opposition. This sometimes yields frees, unless referee Lane is in charge, he penalizes the ball carrier for being knocked to the ground and can adjudicate on penalties from 60 yards away without consulting the umpires.
Young O Hanlon tried to perform in this attacking arrangement. Three times he fought his way along the touchline being flailed by 2 or 3 Cavan defenders. Was there a team -mate running with, or ahead of him clearing a path? No. When he tried to make space to send a pass into the centre; were there a couple of his team -mates bursting through to take the ball and crash in into the Cavan net? No.
When I saw young Brannigan come on, I wondered what was expected of him? He would be about to be man- marked by a dozen or Cavan players.
The good news is that we are out of the 15 men- behind - ball dogfight that has destroyed Ulster football. Being on the smaller side physically, we play better when there is space on the field.
In the meantime, instead of discussing who played well and who didn't we might take a look at our team organization and tactics on the field.
Clearly, we have talented footballers poorly coached.
If that remarks annoys you then re -run the video of Corofin's All -Ireland Club Championship win over Killarney Crokes and see how the game should be played.
Or videos of The Monaghan Ladies Team's All Ireland wins. In both cases, pace, positioning, intelligence and attacking moves are what the game is about.
Replying To MadgeKing: "Hello Neighbours. If your disappointment is on the same scale as my satisfaction then you are going to have a long week! But I am genuinely not here to wind anybody up just to make a few observations. First of all, any right thinking Cavan supporter recognizes what happened on Saturday evening. We played our best football in years and your team looked at their worst in a while. A 4 point win resulted. Is this a sign of a shift in the balance of power? Maybe so. All the same Cavan have a long way to go before proving anything, The penalty- I don't understand why people are debating it. It was clearly and definitively not a foul. There was no push on Madden and Beggan got the ball. Had it a big effect on the pattern of the game? Yes. Had an effect on the ultimate outcome? I hope you can admit that it hadn't. This was Cavan's day regardless. Where does it leave both teams? With respect, my sense of Monaghan is that they look a team that's behind the curve in overall prep. O'Rourke suddenly has a big problem. I don't think you would come out Brewster Park or Newry next round based on Saturday night, A handy draw will be needed to at least to buy time. Make it into June and who knows where you end up yet. For ourselves, we need to recognise the overdue win for what it was. We will be too strong and have too much football for Armagh. Tyrone in a final is a different story. Being realistic I think we will need a favour from Donegal against them in the semi. Finally, fair play to the Monaghan supporters who were big enough to take on the chin since Saturday. Maybe we will meet again over the summer and I won't be betting the house on a win if we do."
Of course it was a penalty, he was pushed in the back. Good job you're not reffing games.
Replying To Adler: "A game we should have won. We went in 7 down at halftime. We missed 7 really straightforward scores in the first half. Under minimal/no pressure and still couldn't put the ball over the bar. One was a fisted chance, two into the keepers arms, three other wides and a missed free from Beggan slightly to the right of the posts when he kicked one clinker from the sideline earlier.
One of the wides was from McManus, 13m out. He's kicked hundreds of them over for us. When the camera panned to him after that miss he looked tired. About 2 minutes prior to that miss he was inside our own 20m line. He was standing behind the ball, goalside of the play. Why is the best forward in the country sitting as a sweeper almost? Is he doing it because he's the leader, the best player and sees it as his duty to work hard etc and track his man... or is he being told to do that?? I really hope it's the former because if it's the latter then whoever is telling him to do that needs to be far far away from coaching Gaelic Football. McManus was doing the same thing again near the end of the half, just sitting behind the ball covering space. Again late doors in the 72nd minute, he's outside our D. Monaghan are better than Cavan, there's no ifs or buts but like FootblockRef said, we are drowning in negativity. It's so blatantly obvious it's scary.
Cavan had a sweeper sitting in front of our full forward line. Now, every man, woman and child ( granted it would need to be a particularly intelligent child) going to Breffni on Saturday evening knew they would do that. I was in Portland and even I knew it. Sometimes he sat in front of Conor and sometimes in front of O'Hanlon. If Basil Fawlty was playing corner forward he would have sat in front of him. Are we not able to think outside the box on this just a little?? The Cavan sweeper ran straight back into the defence at both throw-ups. Why not start an extra forward and have him mark that sweeper. Did anyone from our camp go and watch Cavan in their league games?? Ryan Wylie was our free man and he had his usual very good performance. Imagine he was a forward, free to do what he wanted out round the Cavan D or midfield without responsibility to go back and cover space, mark someone or take the ball from short kick-outs? Why not play them at their own game. In sport you need to make it hard for the other team and keep them guessing. You don't let them have things their way. But when you're Monaghan you do. Again, we are better than them!!!! Why are we doing these stupid negative things?? There is still tonnes of football left in this Monaghan team, we just need to figure out how to best harness it.
I honestly didn't think Cavan were spectacular. They played pretty well while we were chronic the first half. Which Cavan is the real one?? The slick, intense, skillful one we saw the first half or the decent, honest but nervy one we saw the second?? There's a reason they bounce up and down between Div 1 and 2.
Those 6 easy missed chances in the first half killed us, not the penalty. Cavan kicked some really great scores and got the dodgy penalty. Will they get a dodgy penalty the next day out and kick some great points from tight angles?? Remember the Longford game in 2016. Unlike Saturday that was a fluke of a result but they kicked outrageous points that day. Next day out they lost by 7 or 8 points to an average Cork team. I don't particularly care how far Cavan go in the C'Ship, they won't win a trophy but for their sake hopefully they don't pull a Longford.
One last thing, I hate getting on the player's backs but Beggan was very poor with the penalty. He's bouncing up and down moving out as the penalty is struck which will never ever give you a high percentage chance at saving a penalty. It wasn't even a good penalty. Hit at a nice height, about 3 feet in from the post. Very saveable. But sure look the Cavan fella had trials at Burnley."
Just a thought occurred to me reading this piece. Adler is right about their sweeper and is also right about how we should have put a forward on him. We should have copied Mayo v Tyrone in 2016 when they put Kevin McLoughlin up on Nice But Dim the younger but played him 10 yards off so CC didn't know whether to stay in the sweepers natural area or mark McLoughlin. Thinking outside the box. Also in relation to the penalty, it wasn't the reason we lost. That goal made it 1-2 v no score. That means Cavan won the rest of the half 0-6 v 0-4. If we had won the rest of the half 0-6 v 0-4, we would have won the game because they would have panicked in last 10. Also as someone else said, first half of the first game of championship has nothing to do with tired legs. If we make it to Super 8's we'll know all about tired legs.